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4                                      FLOBA INDICA.                   [Ranunculocea.
less, but solid, corky, and not seed-bearing.   The leaves are the same as in N. lauri-
Sepala 4-8. Petala nulla vel calyce breviora. Achema sessilia,
caudata vel rostrata.—Frutices scandentes vel erecti.
This very large genus, which is common in all temperate climates, is represented
in the mountains of India by numerous fine species. These are all scandent, and
vary much in appearance at* different stages of their growth, so that their sepa-
ration in the herbarium is not always easy, the specimens which are preserved there
very imperfectly illustrating the character of the species and the amount of variation
in the different parts of the plant. The shape and degree of division of the leaves,
the size and form of the flowers, the inflorescence, and the bracts, have all been em-
ployed to yield specific characters. The mode in which the leaves are" divided,
whether decompound, pinnate, or ternate, appears pretty constant in each species,
but the shape and degree of division of the leaflets is extremely variable. With
regard to the inflorescence, the species with single-flowered peduncles seem never
to pass into the paniculate group; but among the latter every amount of variation
occurs, the terminal panicles in the larger species being often a mass of flowers with
few and very small leaves, while those on the lower part of the stem are long-pedun-
clcd, much more leafy, and altogether quite different in aspect. The bracts too are
extremely variable, and specific characters founded 4Tpon them will, we believe, be
found invariably to break down when a large series of specimens are examined.
Good characters are afforded by the position of the sepals in the expanded flower,
but the size and pubescence of the flowers are very uncertain. The buds in all
the species are at first globose, and afterwards become oval or oblong; still, within
certain limits, their shape at the period of expansion of the flower appears tolerably
constant. The shape and degree of hairiness of the stamens form an important
character, which, however, unfortunately fails in those species which are most diffi-
cult of discrimination.
The sections into which this genus has been divided by Be Oandolle are on the
whole natural. The majority of the Indian species belong to the subgenus Flam*
mu?a, which is everywhere the most extensive. Cheirvpsis is in habit undistinguish-
able from At rag en e; and the amount of development of the petals or barren sta-
mens in Atragene being very variable, it is not improbable that on a general revision
of the genus these two groups will be united. (7. montana has so exactly the habit
of Cheiropsis (in which indeed Be Candolle has placed it, notwithstanding its having
no involucral bracts), that it appears desirable to rest the distinction of that section
mainly on the one-flowered pedicels, in preference to the involucre, by doing which
we include C. montana. JSefyastnthera of Edgeworth has also so much the habit
of Cheiropsis, that we prefer its union to that group to its retention as a distinct
subgenus, especially as a transition is established between its very remarkable sta-
mens and the ordinary form by O. acutangula.
The genus Clematis is universally diffused throughout temperate countries, if we
except extratropical South America, in which its species are very rare. In Australia
it is^as abundant as in the IJorthn'n Hemisphere. There are no arctic or alpine
species, and within the tropics they arc for the most part natives of mountainon«j
countries. Madagascar possesses a number of very remarkable forms.
lu India the species of Clematis are most numerous in the temperate zone of the
Himalaya, only two occurring in the tropical regions. Of these, one (& Qouriana)
is found in the open plains, bat only exceptionally, as it is much more plentiful
in subtropical J-LIls. The other (C. Cadmia] is a rare and local plant. The species
of the Bnsiern Himalaya and Malayan Peninsula are analogous to those of China.
Tn tlu Western Himalaya and the mountains of Hindostan and the Dekhan, African